Polish educationists have paid rich tributes to noted Hindi poet Sachchidananda Hirananda Vatsyayana, better known as "Agyeya", saying he was a "pioneer in modern Hindi literature in post-partition India" and he had "refined the art of story telling".
The famous Hindi poet, novelist and journalist (1911-1987) was remembered at a function jointly organised by the Faculty of Oriental Studies of Warsaw University and the embassy of India in the Polish capital over the weekend, EuAsiaNews reported.
A prolific writer, Agyeya was a master of prose and fiction, apart from being an editor of the Dinaman weekly of the Times of India group.
Agyeya won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1964, the Jnanpith Award in 1978 and the Golden Wreath Award in 1983.
Danuta Staszek, chairperson of South Asian Studies at the university, highlighted the genius of Agyeya at the programme.
"Agyeya acted as a pioneer of modern Hindi literature in post-partition India. He gave a new diction to Hindi poetry and refined the art of story telling. He was liberal to the core as a journalist," he said.
Monika Kapila Mohta, India's ambassador to Poland, said Agyeya's poetry could be compared to other 20th century poets such as Mexico's Octovio Paz or Poland's Czeslaw Miwosz or Zbigniew Herbert.
"It is not always easy to understand Agyeya's poetry, but it is a challenge to one's aesthetic sense to appreciate the nuances of thought and mind," Mohta said.
"Time has come we should get his works translated into Polish language. Unlike Urdu poetry, Hindi poetry so far has not found many translators in Poland," she said.
S. Zahid, an Indian poet based in Poland, said Agyeya's initiative to publish anthologies of modern Hindi poets was a milestone in Hindi literature.
"Suddenly there was a burst of remarkable poets who came to limelight such as Dharamvir Bharti, Muktibodh and Raghuvir Sahay along with Agyeya himself. This new wave gave an impetus to modern thinking. Thus a liberal mind had come into existence and stayed with Hindi literature for a few more decades," he said.
"Writers like Agyeya come once in a few decades. It is gratifying that even people in Poland are now aware of his contributions," he said.
Students recited some well-known poems of Agyeya in Hindi as well as their translation in Polish for the benefit of Indian and Polish audiences alike.
The faculty of Oriental Studies is also promoting other Indian languages such as Sanskrit, Bengali and Tamil. Every year it enrols 30 students for different courses, though there is a huge demand which the faculty cannot handle due to paucity of funds and manpower, officials said.
According to the Indian embassy, there are around 2,000 people of Indian origin living in Poland. They work mainly in the private sector, in businesses, multinational companies and banks.